Oklahoma State basketball: Marcus Smart scores 39 points in win over Memphis

by John Helsley Published: November 19, 2013

— Marcus Smart started trending on Twitter about 8 p.m. Tuesday night.

And the social media world was in full catch-up mode.

Smart had long been trending — and treading — on No. 11-ranked Memphis, piling up points and pulling crazy love from the ESPN crew calling the game and from analysts all across America, impressing a courtside Kevin Durant and endearing himself further to an estimated crowd of 12,000 inside Gallagher-Iba Arena.

No. 7 Cowboys 101, Tigers 80.

As Oklahoma State legend Eddie Sutton headed for the exit, he paused near the press table, cupped his hands around his mouth and shouted: “I could coach this team,” referencing these Cowboys' passion and grit and toughness.

And this team is clearly molded in the image of one man: Marcus Smart.

Smart scored 10 of the Cowboys' first 12 points, had 26 by halftime and finished with a career-high 39 — and much more, including no small amount of swagger — as OSU turned an anticipated major matchup into a massive mismatch.

“When he scores like that, he could be the best player in college basketball,” said Memphis coach Josh Pastner. “Today, he was awesome.

“He's really, really good. Tonight he was tremendous.”

Smart took it to Memphis from the outset, with an aggression that not only fueled his early outburst, but allowed his teammates to relax and join in the fun.

With the Tigers leading 4-2, Smart scored 12 straight points in a variety of ways — a driving, spinning layup; a four-point play; a follow of his own miss; a lay-in; and a dunk.

And he was just getting started.

At the 7:17 mark of the first half, Smart had 24 points.

Memphis had 22.

And the Cowboys led 35-22.

According to one ESPN stat, Smart's 26 points at intermission were more than 10 Division I teams had in their first halves Tuesday night.

“I knew when I let go of my first (3-pointer) and it went in, with a foul, it was going to be a good night,” Smart said. “I was just feeling it tonight.”

Smart had that feeling even before the game began.

“It was just something in me,” he said. “Before the game, I went into a zone where I just told myself, ‘Whatever I can do to help this team win. I'm not going to let the team down tonight.' I just came out real aggressive.”

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by John Helsley
OSU Reporter Sr.
John Helsley grew up in Del City, reading all the newspapers and sports magazines he could get his hands on. And Saturday afternoons, when the Major League Game of the Week was on, he'd keep a scorecard for the game. So the sports appeal was was...
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